For Fall Break, which was a month ago (bad at blogging, I know!), we headed to the San Rafael Swell. Blake made a fun itinerary for us that included the Little Grand Canyon. It is located near Castledale; we followed the signs toward Wedge Overlook. Our goal was to get here by sunset and luckily we made it! The entrance and camping is free here which really added a bonus. There is also a bathroom so I appreciated that. We spent some time walking and driving around taking in all the amazing views. We found a nice picnic table and cooked up some carnitas tacos while the sun was going down. Not a bad place to enjoy some tacos! [Read more…]
Last year, we spent Labor Day is Zion National Park with Blake’s family. We had so much fun that we planned to do it again this year. Blake and I pulled the small trailer and enjoyed being able to stay in it and have a place for all our gear. This year, we decided to stay in Springdale so we would be close to the shuttle and park entrance. Once we got camp set up and ate dinner it was dark and the stars were starting appear. Blake, his parents, and I went into the park to take some star photos. The stars were really showing off for us. [Read more…]
The Tetons have been on my list for quite some time so for my birthday weekend Blake treated me to an amazing weekend there. He’s the best! We didn’t reserve a camping spot our first night and definitely didn’t arrive early enough for the first come first serve, so Blake did a little google-earthing and found a spot in the Gros Ventre wilderness where camping is free. We drove down the road for a ways until we found the perfect pull off. The sun was setting right over the Tetons and everything was just looking amazing. We packed up our gear and carried it about a quarter mile off the road to the perfect lookout. We set up camp, cooked some food and stayed up taking star photos. [Read more…]
The past few weekends of adventures have been very thought out. A lot of planning and research went into those trips and we were ready for a nice relaxing weekend. Blake and I thought a nice weekend at home would be nice, but upon further thinking we realized we would probably get bored, so we decided to go do something. We wanted to go somewhere where there was hardly a drive and that we could be alone. We talked about car camping by Mirror Lake but knew that it would be super crowded and that we probably wouldn’t even be able to get a spot. That led us to backpacking… again. We thought we might be a little crazy because we had just finished a long backpacking trip last weekend, but it also sounded really nice and relaxing to both of us. Blake opened up his Uintas map and picked a lake that looked nice; he chose Ibantik Lake. We did minimal planning and research on Ibantik Lake.
Buckskin Gulch has been on my bucket list for quite a while. Blake and his friends tried to get permits last year but weren’t able to get get enough; secretly I was happy because I really wanted to go. After that, I told him he wasn’t allowed to go without me. We talked with our friends, Aubrey and Logan, and decided that we should go. Logan got the permits a few months ago and we were ready; Thanks Logan!
Last year, Blake and I made a trip down to Cathedral Valley in Capitol Reef National Park. I had just started getting the hang of star photos and this was the perfect place because of the dark skies. I knew that we had to go back so that I could take more star photo. We knew that we would be going to Manti for the Mormon Miracle Pageant and decided that we would make it a longer trip and head to Cathedral Valley as well. We invited Aubrey and Logan and also decided to the Cassidy Arch Canyon again. We had such a blast doing it the first time that we wanted to try it again. It was also fun because it was Aubrey and Logan’s first canyoneering experience and so we got to be the guides.
Blake and I had been talking and talking about going to Great Basin National Park. Every time we passed the sign on our way South we talked about crossing Great Basin off out list. The past couple years, star photography has become my favorite hobby. We keep track of the moon cycle and plan trips based on how large the moon is; we are nerds, I know! Last weekend was a new moon; which means we were going camping, so we could do some stargazing! Since we had been talking about Great Basin for so long we decided to finally make it happen.
As soon as we booked our trip to Kauai back in November, we bought permits to backpack the Kalalau Trail on the Napali Coast. This backpacking trip has been on both of our lists since before we were even dating. We were both super excited to be doing it together and couldn’t wait to see the amazing scenery.
Blake did this backpacking trip a couple years ago with friends and has wanted to take me back ever since. We also have a big backpacking trip coming up in May so we wanted to do a little training and thought this would be a great warm up for our next big trip. We woke up early Friday morning and headed to do Spooky and Peek-a-Boo gulch again, we’ve done these canyons before and wanted to revisit them. You can read more about those great slot canyons here. We did that hike first to kill a little time; we didn’t want to get too early of a start because the route that we chose was not super long.
After Monument Valley, there were a few sites that we wanted to see. The Southeast corner of Utah is very spread out, so getting from one site to the next is anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Our first stop was Goosenecks State Park. This state park reminded me of Dead Horse Point and Horseshoe Bend except that it has an added bend to it. We spent about a half hour here taking photos and enjoying the scenery. Our next stop would be Natural Bridges National Monument. The road to Natural Bridges is pretty rad; there is a section of the road called the Moki Dugway that switchbacks up the side of a cliff. We stopped at a lookout point to look back at the road. It was a little nerve-wracking to see that we had just driven up a giant cliff. Looking off the cliff you can see the skeletons of wrecked cars that had lost their way, which made it even more reassuring….